If you are considering solar energy as an alternative source of energy, you are probably worried that you will not have electricity if it is cloudy or rainy. You will be very happy to know that they do work regardless of the weather conditions.
Solar panels draw energy from the sun, but this does not limit their work to only sunny days. They can still draw energy from the sun even on cloudy or rainy days.
How solar panels make energy
Solar panels are made of photovoltaic cells which generate electricity from daylight, not just sunlight or heat. They are made of semi-conducting substances, usually silicon. When light hits these cells, it makes the electrons within them move to generate power. Therefore, photovoltaic panels generate electricity during the day and not at night.
Since the photovoltaic cells respond to daylight, strong sunlight means more electricity. The solar panels usually get the most light at noon, given that is the time the sun is strongest and highest in the sky, especially on a clear day when it is brightest. However, even on those gloomy days, the available light makes electricity.
Can solar panels still work when it is extremely cold or rainy?
As technology advances, solar panel technology has advanced greatly, such that they work pretty well even in cloudy weather where the light is a bit dim. Additionally, if you have been lazy about washing your solar panels, you would be glad to know that rain can also help make your solar panels work better by washing away the accumulated dust.
Since most parts of Africa are blessed to experience sunny days throughout the year, it would not be a worry that there are days your solar panels may not work. Even in the Nordics where you get snow, solar is a very popular source of energy. Even though less energy is produced, considering the shorter days which affect the hours of daylight. You may be wondering, what about the snowy days or when there are hailstones? Residual heat on the surface of the panels will aid the snow in sliding off the solar panels.
How much energy does a photovoltaic panel produce?
The size of your panels, the angle, the direction the panels are facing, as well as the weather in your locality, all affects the amount of energy your photovoltaic panels can produce. Additionally, the electricity consumption also varies from one house to another. If you have several electronics, you will certainly need more panels.
Before you settle on the size and number of panels you will need, you can consult with a professional solar installer who can inspect the size of your property and advise you on the right system based on your needs.
Do you need a solar battery?
If you live in Nairobi, you already know that the weather is unpredictable in some months. You might need to add a room heater, which consumes a lot of electricity. To prevent running out of energy when you need it the most, it is advisable to get a battery to store energy as a backup.
The battery allows you to store electricity for future use, thus allowing you to power up your systems when there is no daylight. Remember, the size of your power grid will also affect the number and the size of the batteries you will need.
A solar system can work as a main source of energy, but you can also use it as a backup for your electrical system. In either case, you will need to have a battery to store energy for future use. You must also learn to maintain your system in perfect condition so that it can serve you for a long time.
The advantage of a photovoltaic system is that it does not need sunlight to generate electricity, but rather daylight. Therefore, whether it is a bright sunny day or a dull cloudy day, your photovoltaic system will still generate energy.